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A Terrible Country
by Keith Gessen




Overview -
A New York Times Editors' Choice

Named a Best Book of 2018 by Bookforum, Nylon, Esquire, and Vulture

This artful and autumnal novel, published in high summer, is a gift to those who wish to receive it.
--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Hilarious, heartbreaking . . . A Terrible Country may be one of the best books you'll read this year.
--Ann Levin,
Associated Press

The funniest work of fiction I've read this year.
--Christian Lorentzen, Vulture.com

A literary triumph about Russia, family, love, and loyalty--from a founding editor of n+1 and author of All the Sad Young Literary Men

When Andrei Kaplan's older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It's the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. So Andrei sublets his room in Brooklyn, packs up his hockey stuff, and moves into the apartment that Stalin himself had given his grandmother, a woman who has outlived her husband and most of her friends. She survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia's violent capitalist transformation, during which she lost her beloved dacha. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can't always remember who he is.

Andrei learns to navigate Putin's Moscow, still the city of his birth, but with more expensive coffee. He looks after his elderly--but surprisingly sharp --grandmother, finds a place to play hockey, a caf to send emails, and eventually some friends, including a beautiful young activist named Yulia. Over the course of the year, his grandmother's health declines and his feelings of dislocation from both Russia and America deepen. Andrei knows he must reckon with his future and make choices that will determine his life and fate. When he becomes entangled with a group of leftists, Andrei's politics and his allegiances are tested, and he is forced to come to terms with the Russian society he was born into and the American one he has enjoyed since he was a kid.

A wise, sensitive novel about Russia, exile, family, love, history and fate, A Terrible County asks what you owe the place you were born, and what it owes you. Writing with grace and humor, Keith Gessen gives us a brilliant and mature novel that is sure to mark him as one of the most talented novelists of his generation.

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More About A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen

 
 
 

Overview

A New York Times Editors' Choice

Named a Best Book of 2018 by Bookforum, Nylon, Esquire, and Vulture

This artful and autumnal novel, published in high summer, is a gift to those who wish to receive it.
--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Hilarious, heartbreaking . . . A Terrible Country may be one of the best books you'll read this year.
--Ann Levin,
Associated Press

The funniest work of fiction I've read this year.
--Christian Lorentzen, Vulture.com

A literary triumph about Russia, family, love, and loyalty--from a founding editor of n+1 and author of All the Sad Young Literary Men

When Andrei Kaplan's older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It's the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. So Andrei sublets his room in Brooklyn, packs up his hockey stuff, and moves into the apartment that Stalin himself had given his grandmother, a woman who has outlived her husband and most of her friends. She survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia's violent capitalist transformation, during which she lost her beloved dacha. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can't always remember who he is.

Andrei learns to navigate Putin's Moscow, still the city of his birth, but with more expensive coffee. He looks after his elderly--but surprisingly sharp --grandmother, finds a place to play hockey, a caf to send emails, and eventually some friends, including a beautiful young activist named Yulia. Over the course of the year, his grandmother's health declines and his feelings of dislocation from both Russia and America deepen. Andrei knows he must reckon with his future and make choices that will determine his life and fate. When he becomes entangled with a group of leftists, Andrei's politics and his allegiances are tested, and he is forced to come to terms with the Russian society he was born into and the American one he has enjoyed since he was a kid.

A wise, sensitive novel about Russia, exile, family, love, history and fate, A Terrible County asks what you owe the place you were born, and what it owes you. Writing with grace and humor, Keith Gessen gives us a brilliant and mature novel that is sure to mark him as one of the most talented novelists of his generation.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735221338
  • ISBN-10: 0735221332
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish Date: July 2019
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.55 pounds


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New York City professor Andrei finds himself reassessing his life while attempting to get his bearings as he cares for his grandmother in Moscow.

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In this innovative novel, a reporter talks with the town’s inhabitants about the days leading up to a teenage girl’s disappearance. The process of grieving, the importance of storytelling and the bonds of community all come into play in McGregor’s poignant story.

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